Kid Nation: Let Me Talk!
Ah, but did it stay at 37 children this week? Or did we lose another due to homesickness? Was there a brouhaha? More killed chickens? Hmmm ... now that I mentioned the killed chickens, I wonder why it was so important to kill the two and then none since. Maybe because of the power of suggestion in the journal, eh? Uh-oh. I should have put the spoiler after the jump. Too late -- no chickens died tonight. Oops.
With the holiday almost upon me, I had forgotten that last week we ended on a funky note. It was a to be continued kind of episode with what looked to be an overthrow of the town council ahead. Now, just a few weeks ago Guylan and Zach replaced Mike and Taylor respectively in the council.So, there the kids were, as if suspended in time and space, still in the town hall after a week just waiting for us to return.
The very surprising part of tonight's episode was that there was no journal. The show picked up on the town hall meeting. The kids who wanted to run for council leader positions as well as the incumbents each gave a brief speech.
Zach's biggest heckler was his evil nemesis Taylor -- "You suck at it!" He promised he would progress and improve. His opponent Blaine used the old "leaders should do more to motivate others" platform. (Actually, I've found in my own experience that it's hard to motivate others. About the only way you can motivate others is by setting a good example yourself.)
Guylan has been having a tough time of the job and knew he got in over his head. "Please vote me off." So, running against no one, DK took charge of the red district. Mike, voted off the council not long ago, was outright gleeful that Guylan realized it's not easy to be a leader. I think he feels vindicated.
Laurel talked about how much she loved the job and she vowed to keep doing her best. Hmm ... some of these kids take the district leader position which is so temporary more seriously than some adults take paying for the bills jobs. Her opponent, the too-wise-for-his-years Michael, said he wanted to test himself and make the town a better place.
Anjay, whom I think is the most ineffective leader on the council, just wanted a second chance. Oh, nice and bright kid, but not a real leader in this particular position. Greg, the sweet bully paradox teen, wanted the chance to show he's not a bad guy despite his bad past. I've really got a mixed mind over Greg. He must be very trying for his parents. He goes from being so sweet and caring about others to explosive with very little mellow in between.
In the end, every incumbent was voted out. Laurel seemed to take it the hardest, although Zach cried a few tears himself. Laurel had done such a good job from the start, but then I think she lost the ideal that it was the town at large as the main goal, not her individual district.
Several of the kids feared both Greg and Blaine on the town council. In particular, both Sophia and Laurel, both green district kids, had the most trepidation. "Bonanza City will crash and burn," said Laurel.
And, so it did.
Well, it changed up before the end of the episode, yeah. But, sheesh. DK and Michael were in on a discussion with the council about respect or, more accurately, lack of respect. They think the town has gone amok with no one respecting each other. Greg and Blaine had the worst idea ever conceived to enforce respect. I have no idea why they thought all of the kids introducing themselves and then starting the whole thing over if there were any interruptions was a good idea. In the adult world, I doubt that would work. You set up a scenario like that and it's obvious that if someone says their birthday is coming, there will be disruption. Yes, a lecture could remain quiet, but not something like this. Never, under any circumstance.
So that fueled the worried about the least respectful people -- Greg and Blaine -- trying to "teach" respect to the others. The two boys compounded their problems with the others by eavesdropping as the green district talked about them. Then, in the daylight, three of the four council leads -- DK, Greg, and Blaine -- set up chairs in the middle of the road because the green district said they'd prefer that.
Michael, the idealist, realized that something had to be done, so he once again screamed, "Let me talk!" Hasn't he done that before? Or, at least something very similar? He confronted his fellow district leaders and pretty much voiced what the other kids in town were thinking -- they were going about things wrong. In order to get respect, you have to give it.
In a bit of an aside while all this was going on, the new red district leader DK told Taylor that if she didn't work, she wouldn't take part in the reward at the next showdown. Greg tried to get her to work, too.
Oh, and yeah ... Greg went good again, it seemed.
The showdown was about communication, the theme of the episode itself. The kids had to transport pies on poles while walking on beams. Once the pies arrived at the council leader, they dug through them to retrieve picture clues of communication devices. They then had to put them in the correct historical order.
We found out that Blaine needs to pay more attention in history class. "I'm not so good with my electronical history." Zach was kind, telling us that Blaine was "moderately" smart. Oh, not that I'm more than moderately smart, but today is the day in history that Thomas Edison announced his invention of the phonograph back in 1877. Blue ended up being the upper class, much of that due to Anjay shouting answers to Greg. Green will be the merchants, yellow the cooks, and laborers goes to red.
They could have had ponies. I always wanted a pony. I'd like a pony now, but I'm not sure where I'd put one in my apartment. But, instead, they chose to get letters from home as the reward for all of the districts finishing the showdown challenge within thirty minutes. Even Taylor got her letter from home.
The town meeting became another battleground of Greg's bullheadedness versus the entire town of kids. No one wanted him to leave, but he got angry as they tried to tell him they just want him to change. Hopefully, he got the clue. He seemed to, but I wouldn't be surprised to see more bad behaviors as well as kindnesses from this kid before the end of the season.
Although both Zach and Laurel had talked about going home and the town council members had threatened not to give a gold star to anyone ... it was not meant to be. They gave it to Laurel without the audience even being in on their talks. I had figured Hunter, but even though Laurel went a little astray thinking only about her own district, I think she's very deserving. You go, girl!
Her phone call to her mother was the first one which made me laugh out loud -- "We'll have to go to the mall!"
Once again, there were some touching moments in addition to the funny lines. Reality hit Greg not only when the kids confronted him for his personal behavior, but when he found out in his letter from home that his cousin was shipped to Iraq. Greg can be the bully, but he's also the comforter of others on the show. Who will comfort the comforter?
My main man (boy) Jared got in a good line tonight as they hit the showdown. "I think we should rush the pie and and eat it." Emilie did just that. Kids will be kids, Kid Nation show or not.
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